By Claudio Ayub, SVP – Technology, Media, Telecom (TMT) Practice, 360insights
A long-ignored or certainly under-appreciated associate at many partner organizations should be getting a lot more attention from vendors. As more companies strive to shift greater responsibility for lead generation to their channel ecosystems, it’s critical that they better engage the people who will be doing the work – the partner’s marketing associate.
Marketing associates are not new to many partner companies, especially larger organizations. But as a broader range of partner companies endeavor to boost awareness of their own brands, even small and mid-size firms are making marketing a bigger responsibility – if not the primary duty – of dedicated staffers.
Because many SMB partners really lack the sales and marketing stack to effectively compete in a digital world, supporting them with through channel marketing automation (TCMA) technology is more important than ever.
But merely launching these TCMA tools isn’t enough though, as vendors must be prescriptive on how, when and where partners should use them and the assets they contain. You’ve got to allocate rewards where the effort is being made!
TCMA awards programs are designed for the partners’ marketing associate or lead. The program’s courses combine marketing skills transfer and vendor-specific program information with incentives, to empower partners – but especially the staffers who are designated as marketing leads — to effectively plan and execute vendor-created marketing programs. These type programs provide partners with skills that enable them to understand the buyer’s journey, recognize demand type, and knowledge of where to access program assets and how to use specific assets during the buying journey.
TCMA awards programs are designed around learning, measurement, execution, and proof of performance data.
This is different from incenting the partner only. If you think about it, it is the partner’s employee (marketing associate) who will be doing the work to learn, configure and launch the effort on a TCMA or Campaign Marketplace tool. You’ve got to allocate the reward where the effort is being made!
With a TCMA Awards program, channel leaders can:
You need only pay the individual starter incentives once per training course and per campaign, as these campaigns should yield results that will earn the partner marketing manager top recognition within the business, which in many instances is as important – if not more important – than the incentive itself.
Rewards should be issued at the individual level via a points program, designed around learning, measurement, execution, and proof of performance data. Below is a very simple example on how to get started:
Marketing Activity: Content syndication
Marketing Activity: Landing page + email
Marketing Activity: Event
For each of these examples, the partner’s marketing associate would be awarded the following incentives:
As their marketing skills improve, partners should shift from using one-and-done outbound marketing tactics to multi-touch programs that make use of social media and digital marketing activities.
Once partners become comfortable with the tool and multiple plays have been executed, provide them with feedback on the overall investment and the amount of pipeline that was created so the behavior will be repeated. You should also measure and provide feedback on individual performance, reinforcing the desired behavior so it will also be repeated. People want and need continuous feedback on their personal progress and how well the program is succeeding.
In order to eliminate friction and deliver more value through your partners, it’s time to replace antiquated processes and tactics with streamlined solutions that help scale your programs and fuel the go-to-market strategies of today.